“Oh, Show Me The Way To The Next Whisky Bar!”
May 18, 2006
Well, I had quite a nice (but short) conversation with Robert Rozelle tonight. Looks like the Whiskey show should be fun and hopefully make a dent (along with the NY work being done) in Arthur’s health costs. Robert has something going with Melvin Whittington. I think i did maybe 5 or 6 shows with Melvin in the early ’90s. I like Melvin and Robert, never had an issue with them. Actually, Robert and me speak on the phone from time to time and have done so for quite some time.
One thing i think Johnny Echols has over other musicians is that he has a “Sound.” I remember someone on the march 2005 tour suggesting he wasn’t Johnny Echols! I said, “Duuuuuude, listen to YOUR MIND and THEN tell me what you think.” And of course, that was the dead give away. No one, and i mean NO ONE plays guitar like Johnny Echols.
I remember playing a show in early 1993. Arthur, Henry Lui, Daddyo, Rusty and myself. it was in Semi-Valley. S.V. is a very dull suburb with strip malls, mullets and Denny’s eateries. We played for….hmmm…about 3 people. There was only ONE microphone. I was sad and a bit frightened. Arthur courageously played one of the best shows we ever did that year. He saw the challenge as an opportunity. See, this was about 3 years before Gene Kraut took us to the UK and Europe. So, at that time, no promoter would touch Arthur, due no doubt to past ‘incidents’ or just plain ‘reputation.’ Hey, nobody likes getting stuck with the bill (just ask all those UK and Europe clubs that got jilted back in July), no matter what kinda story MOJO can dream up and print.
That was an interesting period because we had to work for EVERYTHING just to stand still. if we actually wanted to GO SOMEWHERE we had to work even HARDER. But those days, those early days, were really really odd. Were they fun? Well, let me say that Fun possibly started when Gene got involved. before that it was messy, unprofessional, and unorganized. The music was being played but it wasn’t magical. Some of the last 300 or so shows i’ve done with Love have been, in my opinion, wonderful. 90% of the shows had something magical going on. I count a show we did in Melbourne as one of the fiestiest. All our shows at King Tuts (Glascow) are legendary. All The Bowelry Ballroom in NYC and the Warsaw in Brooklyn shows…….priceless.
Sucky shows? Seattle. Minn. Bimbos in SF (one of the most embarrassing shows ever…even more than that Spain show), that stupid ridiculous Hendrix tribute at bb kings…easily the worst Love show ever attempted…ACTUALLY, not many crap shows, compared to how many we held together.
So i was thinking about all those times…and how many shows I’ve been a part of and how many of the musicians that Arthur has played with that I MAY HAVE PLAYED with….and then there was the time we played with Robbie Kreiger, doing 3 doors songs…Robbie was great. Too bad we had John Sterling playing out of tune and through a shitty wah wah pedal! But see, that was before we forced Love to become professional and try to make it a household name. We worked very hard for that. baby lemonade, gene kraut and especially Glenn Povey. But hey, the Titanic can be resurrected only so many times. I don’t know alot but i know that much. So i remember all the fun and try to see the humour in it all and hope Arthur makes out ok in all this. I also am committed to being honest; i see no point in furthering any more charades. See, i write for free…